Josh Hamilton just received the award for MVP in the ALCS as his team, the Texas Rangers, won the AL Championship tonight. As the tops were popped on green bottles right out there on the field, the announcer noted, “Ginger Ale for Josh Hamilton who has been very open about his struggles with substance abuse.”
When Gene Autry’s widow presented the MVP award to Josh and he was given the opportunity to speak he said, “All the credit for this goes to God and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
When asked about what it means to win the MVP award he refused to talk about his own accomplishments and instead asked to talk about his team.
Earlier this year Pastor Robert Morris interviewed Josh Hamilton and his wife, Katie, at Gateway Church. Josh’s testimony resonates with the truth of the Gospel. God’s power to save and deliver us from the attachments of this world through His Son’s sacrifice and resurrection. During the service when Josh and Katie were interviewed, the couple shared openly about the toll Josh’s early rise as baseball star and drug use had taken. Truthfully, it wrecked both his marriage and his carrier. But, Josh shared that these days when he travels with the team, he attends church online via the internet and often the guys on the team come in and watch the services webcast from Gateway live in the locker room on game days. He shared how God has to be first and Jesus is the One Thing he could not live without.
Tonight, I thank God for the testimony of this man who is called “the Natural” and touted as one of the greatest players presently playing the game of baseball who has so significantly influenced his team that they celebrate with Ginger Ale before breaking out Champagne in honor of their Home Run Hitting Outfielder, Josh Hamilton.
Josh Hamilton has written a book about his struggles coming up as a young baseball player addicted to drugs and alcohol. If you have not had a chance to do so – Reading his book, Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back is a story about the struggles of life, and the freedom as well as the influence available to each of us who choose to live our lives fully devoted to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Not only does Josh talk the talk, but he has chosen to walk the walk and we in Texas who have been watching this magnificent series unfold could not be more proud.
Congratulations to Josh Hamilton, Nolan Ryan and everyone in the Texas Rangers Organization. World Series here we come.
SIDE NOTE: I have been watching the games this week as we have inched each time closer and closer to the World Series opportunity. On Monday night I prayed, “God bless (the batter who was at the plate), and God bless the Texas Rangers.” Then a home run was hit. I got excited. On Tuesday night we came home from Life Group to find the Rangers needed to come back from 3 runs down to win. They did… 10 runs were scored. Before the 5th run was scored I began to pray again and the team scored heavily in the latter innings of Tuesday’s game 4. Game 5 did not go so well. I was reporting my prayer warrioring on behalf of the Rangers to friends at work when my Pastor stated, “You were praying and six little nuns in New York.”
On Thursday, I said, “Last night, the six little nuns won.” We both laughed.
Tonight I texted him at the top of the ninth inning: “6 little nuns (1) and 1 very excited Texas girl (6) God bless Neftali Feliz and God Bless the Texas Rangers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen” They won! As I prayed tonight I acknowledged that as my prayers were answered I would blog about it – so here you go. Our Rangers are headed for the World Series for the first time in Franchise History and God gets the glory. He is good… And He is fun. I love Him, so much.
No haters though, San Fran or the Phillies it’s going to be an awesome series to watch this year! 🙂